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Airfares in summer surge by 30% amid soaring demand

Turkey’s popularity unchanged despite earthquake

By Majd Othman

KUWAIT: As most people try to run away from the heat affecting Kuwait during the summer, travel is becoming more common than ever among citizens and residents. High ticket prices burden the travelers according to their destination every year. Whether a country is a touristic destination or not is not the only factor influencing the prices, but also the increasing demand from travelers to a country even if it is not a tourist country. Fees charged for excess baggage per kilo weigh heavy on travelers’ pockets.

While some agencies don’t declare changes in price during the summer season, others said there was a 30 percent surge in price increases compared to the summer of 2022. Regarding the most booked destinations for citizens this year for the up-coming summer season, Turkey and Europe are still occupying the list of most booked destinations among citizens and residents. Meanwhile, the United States came back to take a place among most demanded destinations between citizens according to Abdullah Al-Mansouri, owner of a travel agency.

Mansouri told Kuwait Times that after the United States reduced its precautionary measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, citizen’s demand over traveling to the country started to increase again. He said that Japan placed high on most demanded destinations during the first quarter of the year as the country made an effort to attract visitors. But because it is not the best destination for vacation in the summer, the demand dropped for the coming season but it’s still one of the most demanded destinations.

The price of the tickets witnessed a slight drop for all destinations in general whether for Europe, the Middle East or Turkey, as it went down by 4 to 5 percent, compared to summer of 2022. Regarding the effect of the demand on the price increase for tickets or services provided by airline companies, a ticket agency officer who asked not to be named said fees charged on excess baggage per kilo differs between seasons.

He told Kuwait Times that some airlines could increase the price of one extra kilo from KD 1 to KD 10 due to the high demand in the summer, while some airlines don’t allow people to travel with excess baggage at all. Some agencies and airlines don’t wait until the summer to raise prices, but they begin to increase their prices earlier as many people book their flights a couple of months early to avoid the price increase.

The travel agency officer said that the number of the passengers on the airplane also affects the price of the tickets. The price of a flight with vacant seats would stay low until the time of the flight, while if the flight is almost full, the price of the tickets would increase from KD 70 to KD 300-400.

The ability of travelling depends on the financial liquidity of the traveler. Some people say they postponed their travel plans due to the price increase of the tickets for the next summer season, especially expats who might prefer to travel to their home countries when the prices come down. Kuwait Times asked people about their favorite destinations and the reason behind their preference. Alia Mohammad said that she wanted to try a new destination this year, as she never visited Switzerland before. She stressed that it is a place where you can find peace and enjoy nature, with amazing views located across the country.

“Although a vacation in Switzerland costs more than other countries, it is a country that you can’t get enough of, if you prefer nature,” she said. Abdullah Meshaal, described his favorite destination as his second home. “In the last couple of years, Turkey was for me like a second home, while I visited most of its places and I know every inch of it, and even if I visited another country during summer season, I have to end up travelling to Turkey.”

Regarding if the recent earthquake affected his decision, he told us: “It didn’t affect my decision to visit Turkey. I have a house there and also I don’t think this is a reason not to visit a country, it could happen anywhere.” According to travel agencies, the demand on booking for Turkey in this next summer season rose dramatically. “My friends recently visited Turkey due to the big drop in the prices in the country during the period that followed the earthquake. The prices of the services and places dropped to almost 50 percent during that time,” said Meshaal.

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